Mass Movements in Great Britain
GCR Volume No. 33
Cooper, R.G.
Out of print
This volume covers the causes of mass movements and their manifesations, and describes over 30 sites of interest.


The subject of this volume – mass movements – covers the broad spectrum of slope movements that moves a mass of superficial material, or rock masses, downwards under gravity.  Some mass movements are small-scale and gradual, operating near the land surface, such as ‘soil creep’, and ‘solifluction’ sheets of saturated sediment moving downslope.  However others are large-scale, deeper-seated and episodic, sometimes even catastrophic, such as landslides and cliff falls.
In the volume, the causes of mass movements, and their manifestations, are recorded in a series of detailed site reports.  The book also includes, in Chapter 1, a version of the Multilingual Landslide Glossary – an international standard for the description of landslides – and the rationale and methods of Geological Conservation Review site selection for mass-movement features.
Over 30 sites across Great Britain showing important features of scientific interest associated with mass movements are described, representing relict and active types of slope- and rock-failure such as debris avalanches, mudflows, rockfalls, rockslides, and planar and rotational slides.
Some of the sites described have importance in the historical timeframe, where movements have caused dramatic change to the landscape in short timescales, such as the Bindon Landslide of 1839.  ‘The most dramatic landslide ever to occur in Great Britain’, it was a key event in understanding the nature of landslides, particularly as two eminent geologists of the time, Buckland and Conybeare, were on hand to describe the events that unfolded in a matter of days.
Other sites are important because they are locations at which significant advances in our understanding of landslides occurred.  Often these are sites, such as Folkestone Warren and Mam Tor, where the investigations have been particularly detailed because of the disruption to railways or roads.  The ways in which geotechnical investigations have unravelled the landslide processes and led to improved methods of analysis and landslide management are well demonstrated by many of the GCR sites.
It is intended that the volume will be a stimulus to those involved in the study of the evolution of the landscape since the last ice age, as well as to those involved in land management.  It demonstrates well how mass movements active in earlier periods have been re-activated by both environmental changes and anthropogenic interventions.  As such, it provides pointers towards the potential future changes that could occur in the British landscape.
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348 pages, illustrations, A4 hardback
ISBN 1 86107 481 6
Please cite as: Cooper, R.G. (2007) Mass Movements in Great Britain, Geological Conservation Review Series, No. 33, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough, 348 pp.